Breast pain impacts around 70% of women at some point of their lives, and about 10% of those women experience severe breast pain. Breast pain refers to general discomfort, tenderness, and soreness in one or both breasts. The leading cause of breast pain during menopause is fluctuating hormone levels.
Characteristics of breast pain include mild to severe discomfort. Cyclical breast pain is the most common type of breast pain. This typically occurs during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Keep reading to learn ways to overcome breast pain.
Making several simple lifestyle changes can help prevent menopause symptoms, including breast pain. Getting plenty of sleep every night (around eight hours), avoiding excess alcohol, and hydrating properly are all simple but important steps towards reducing menopause symptoms.
Getting plenty of exercise not only keeps you fit and healthy, but it has also been shown to help manage and prevent an array of menopause symptoms. It is generally recommended to do around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five times a week. Biking, walking, swimming, Pilates, and yoga are all excellent low-impact workouts that can help reduce stress and boost energy levels. Be sure wear to a properly fitted sports bra when exercising to prevent breast pain.
Stress is one of the most common causes of menopause symptoms because it weakens the body and makes you more susceptible to pain and illnesses. Reducing stress can also help prevent fatigue, promote better sleep, and keep off excess weight. Helpful ways to reduce stress are reading, listening to relaxing music, and mediating.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential to feeling and looking your best. It is important to include plenty of sources of protein, fruits and vegetables, and good fats, like avocados and nuts, into every meal. It's recommended to eat three small, healthy meals a day, along with nutritious snacks every three to four hours. Several nutrient-rich foods that have been shown to help prevent and relieve menopause symptoms are tuna, chicken, almonds, spinach, kale, guavas, low-fat yogurt, and broccoli.
Herbal remedies are a healthy alternative to prescription painkillers when dealing with breast pain. Two herbs that have been shown to help with breast pain are chasteberry and flaxseed. Also, herbal supplements like Macafem can help treat breast pain. Other helpful home remedies include cold compresses, warm baths, and wearing loose, cotton clothing.
Breast pain is an unfortunate symptom of menopause that affects the majority of women. It can range from mild to severe, and last anywhere from several hours to several days. The above strategies have proven effective at treating breast pain for many women, but if your pain is severe, or natural approaches have been unsuccessful, it is suggested to talk to your doctor.
Follow the links below for more information about breast pain.
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Breast - premenstrual pain and tenderness. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003153.htm
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Cyclical breast pain. Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breastpaincyclical/pages/introduction.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Breast - premenstrual pain and tenderness. Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003153.htm
- National Institute on Aging. (2015). Hormones and Menopause. Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hormones-and-menopause
- Rosolowich, Y. et al. (2006). Mastalgia. Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada, 28(1), 49-71. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16533457
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2014). Breast pain. Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/breast-pain